Hema Malini Is PETA’s Person of the Year


For Immediate Release:

20 December 2011



Benazir Suraiya (0) 90045 47382; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera (0) 98201 22561; [email protected]


‘Dream Girl’ Never Misses an Opportunity to Speak Out for Animals

Mumbai – For repeatedly raising her voice to oppose cruelty to animals and for her staunch commitment to a humane vegetarian diet, veteran actor and politician Hema Malini – widely known as “Dream Girl” and who starred in the 1977 film of the same name – has been named Person of the Year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.

“Hemaji is the embodiment of the kindness and determination to effect the positive social change that PETA India stands for”, says PETA India’s chief functionary, Poorva Joshipura. “She is loved and respected throughout India and beyond, and she has used her prestige time and time again to speak up for all the animals whose abuse and oppression might otherwise go unnoticed.”

Malini’s work for animal rights includes the following:

  • Writing a heartfelt appeal this year to the Ministry of Environment and Forests on behalf of PETA India urging them to ban jallikattu. Soon after, the Ministry issued a notification in The Gazette of India stating that bulls can no longer be used as “performing” animals. This decision means an end to the cruel “sport” of jallikattu, in which terrified bulls are kicked, punched, jumped on, dragged to the ground and otherwise tormented. It also means bulls can no longer be used for racing. During such races, the bulls are often beaten mercilessly with wooden sticks spiked with nails in order to get them to run faster in the sweltering heat. The bulls’ tails are also painfully twisted, and bulls can be found covered in blood.
  • Writing a letter on PETA India’s behalf asking that cruel and dangerous horse carts be banned in Mumbai. In November, the Mumbai High Court came to a landmark decision to crack down on unlicensed stables housing horses used to pull carriages. This is expected to mean an end to the use of horse carriages on Mumbai roads soon. PETA investigators have documented how horses used to pull carriages in Mumbai are forced to stand for hours, are given no protection from the scorching sun or driving rain and are beaten and whipped in order to force them to work beyond the point of exhaustion. Forced to pull heavy carriages on busy city streets, horses often are involved in accidents.

Perhaps Malini’s greatest contribution to animals is her healthy, humane and Earth-friendly vegetarian diet. Eating and producing meat are linked to killer diseases—including heart disease and diabetes—and are leading sources of the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change. And it is estimated that every vegetarian saves the lives of more than 100 animals every year! 

In 2000, Hema Malini was presented with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, she was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour, by the Government of India.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.